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Monday, 13 December 2004


Ananova reports that Geng Xiaohong, a teacher in northwestern China, is under investigation for getting his students write their own epitaphs. Mr Geng, who teaches in a secondary school in Xi'an, believes that epitaph writing helps develop students' values and encourages them to think about the meaning of life. This practice has made some parents and experts uncomfortable, because talking about death while still alive is considered taboo in China. Professor Hao Wenwu of Shaanxi Normal University is reported as saying:

"If this technique is used too often children might lose hope in their life."
The IPKat rather likes the idea of people writing their own epitaphs. For one thing, it means that they'll own the copyright in them. For another, if the epitaph is inscribed on a tombstone or other tangible record, it will be easy to discover when the copyright term of the deceased writer has expired.

Epitaphs here, here and here

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